Re: Should the _Times_ be anonymous?

John Morrow (
Tue, 23 Aug 94 16:19:33 EDT

>I'm not a big fan of intentional disinformation campaigns, but figured
>that players enjoyed trying to mislead each other in print. But perhaps
>my instincts are right -- should posts in the _Times_ have attributions?

Misleading other players about your own actions or intentions is fine
and you can do that with attribution. Misleading players about the
actions of others can be a real problem. Yes, I admit that I posted a
few anonymous "land grab" articles myself when everyone was claiming
3/4ths of the world, sight unseen, but that was in response to the
fact that none of the other "land grab" articles were attributed or
verifiable (my idea was to bring the whole idea of anonymous "land
grabs" into question). But I also didn't attribute any of the
articles to real alliances but I easily could have.

Personally, I've been finding the Times more and more useless. The
ratio of worthwhile information to garbage has hit a critical point
for me. If the articles continue to be unattributed then, as I've
said on, perhaps it is time to call the Times "The
Olympia Enquirer" because that reflects the current quality of the
information contained within.

>There are several possible approaches:

> 1. Put the poster's From: on their contributions.

As pointed out, possible to forge plus it drops you out of "game
terminology". That is bad for the "atmosphere".

> 2. Include the identity of the character who receives
> the gold credit.

You would need to verify that players could only credit their own
units (ala the "CREDIT <unit> <password>" idea I saw) for this to
be workable.

> 3. Include the identity of the faction that posts.

An alternative to (2) and it would require similar verification.

>And, of course, "leave it alone", which is what I'm inclined to do,
>unless the players think that allowing anonymous posts is harmful
>and should be disallowed.

It depends on what you mean by "harmful". A constantly high volume of
lies and misleading information in the Times certainly brings ALL of
the information inside (except, perhaps, "fluff" pieces) into
question. And if you can't trust anything you read in the Times, what
purpose it is serving? (Is it simply a forum for large alliances to
take "anonymous" pot-shots at one another?)

Attributing articles to either units OR factions each has its own
benefits and side effects. Unit is probably the natural choice since
units are credited with the article and players tend to write as one
"noble" or another in their faction. And attributing articles to
players would bridge the anonymity between player and unit which
doesn't seem to be causing too much of a problem...

John Morrow

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